How to Clean a Sponge and Kill Bacteria

Turns out, microwaving it isn’t your best option.

Home Ideas – Good Housekeeping

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How gross is your kitchen sponge really?

by

Laura Falin

posted in Life

The thing no one warned me about when I became a parent was the amount of wiping. Faces, noses, tables, computer screens, chairs, coffee tables, bottoms, bottoms, bottoms. So. Much. Wiping.

It’s no wonder I have disposable wipes of all kinds around here. Electronic wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, Lysol wipes. I even have some special stainless steel wipes for my fridge. The only thing I haven’t been able to find a suitable wipe for is my dishes. I use a very questionable kitchen sponge for those. Every time I use it, I wonder whether I’m actually cleaning things, or just helping the bacteria in the sponge to get around my kitchen even faster than it would on its own.

This article has my answer. In a nutshell, the average kitchen sponge has a crapload of bacteria on it. This might be my favorite quote:

“We found 362 different species of bacteria, and locally, the density of bacteria reached up to 45 billion per square centimeter,” says Markus Egert, a microbiologist at Furtwangen University in Germany, who led the study.

Well, that’s a party right there.

How gross is your kitchen sponge really?

Do not despair, however. Despite the discoveries at Furtwangen University, you’re probably not at risk of infecting your entire household with awful diseases. There are actually only five species of bacteria that cause more than 90 percent of hospitalizations from foodborne illness…and they’re not usually found on sponges.

Jennifer Quinlan, a food microbiologist at Drexel University, says the best ways to keep your sponges from spewing dangerous bacteria around are to keep them away from raw meat, replace them every couple of weeks, and clean them every few days by putting them in the dishwasher or microwaving them. That should get rid of the dangerous ones…and the rest? Well, there are gazillions of bacteria microbes crawling all over your house anyway, what’s a few billion more in your sponge?

I guess the answer to my question is that my kitchen sponge is pretty gross but since I’m not using it to scrub-a-dub my chicken, we should be okay.

Next thing you know, they’ll be telling us that dirt is good for you, too. 

Do you clean your sponges? Replace them? Use something else entirely? I could use some suggestions!

Images by Laura Falin

The post How gross is your kitchen sponge really? appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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It’s Official: Microwaving Your Sponge Isn’t the Best Way to Clean It

There’s really only one way to ensure it’s good to go.

Home Ideas – Good Housekeeping

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SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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